One of most diverse ecosystems in the world

SCI/209

July 9, 201

NOAA ACTIVITY PART 3: MARINE POLLUTION AND ADAPTATIONS

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  • Began in 2007
  • Mission is conducted on the Florida and Bahamas reefs
  • Wanted to understand and help reverse the deterioration of coral reefs

FACTS ABOUT THE MISSION

The Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary had a mission in 2007 to study 50 different stations that were set up on the coral reefs of the Bahamas and Florida. The scientists involved were studying the effects of coral bleaching along with certain bacterial diseases that were plaguing the reefs(Foster, 2007). The scientists wanted to understand why the bacteria and bleaching were having such a negative affect on the coral reefs and they also wanted to see if human activities was a direct correlation to the deterioration of the coral. Their findings will be used to help other organization alter the affects that are deteriorating the coral reefs.

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  • One of most diverse ecosystems in the world
  • Feed of plankton and other small organisms
  • Found in tropical and subtropical oceans

FACTS ABOUT CORAL REEFS

The coral reef is the most diverse ecosystem in the ocean. Reefs are known as the rainforest of the sea. One fourth of the ocean’s wildlife is associated with coral reefs and the wildlife use the reef for food and habitat necessitates(Fact Sheet Coral Reefs, 2016). That is a remarkable statistic because reefs only make up about two percent of the ocean. The reef itself is a living organism. It feeds off of plankton and other small organisms. There are many reefs all over the world and they can usually be found in tropical or subtropical oceans. Coral reefs are very important to humans as well. Coral reefs are estimated to be worth 30 billion dollars. It is imperative that the help for coral reefs begin because they are a vital part of the world(Fact Sheet Coral Reefs, 2016).

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  • Coral Reef Alliance
  • Mission: To Unite Communities to Save Coral Reefs
  • Based out of Oakland, California
  • Founded 1994

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP

The Coral Reef Alliance was founded in 1994 by Stephen Colwell. The Environmental Group is based out of Oakland, California. The group has been advocating and protecting marine wildlife and habitats ever since its opening. Its mission is to unite communities to save coral reefs. This group would be a great advocate for the information from the 2007 mission that the Florida Key Sanctuary conducted(Colwell, 2014). The mission was designed to understand what is plaguing reefs and with this vital information the Coral Reef Alliance can begin advocating and educating multiple people, companies, and industries on how they are affecting the reefs(Colwell, 2014).

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  • Marine Debris
  • Agricultural Runoffs
  • Sewage
  • Ocean Dumping

TYPES OF POLLUTION

There are multiple types of pollution that is plaguing the ocean. Most of it is known as second hand pollution because it is not directly put into the ocean, but due to other factors it actually ends up in the ocean. Marine debris is a primary pollutant because it directly put in the ocean. Marine debris can be plastic, littering material, boat parts, or any man made object that comes from the shore and ends up in the ocean(NOAA, 2012). Not all debris is purposely put in the ocean but it does affect habitats, wildlife, and ecosystems. It can kill or harm animals because it is not meant to be in the ocean. The next type of pollutant that affects the ocean is known as secondary pollutant. Agricultural runoffs, sewage, and dumping are not meant to be in the ocean but due to other circumstances this material ends up there. Due to rain, the water cycle, and other factors the pesticides and toxins that are in these pollutants end up in the ocean causing water temperatures to rise, pH balances to changes, and other reactions to occur(NOAA, 2012). This makes habitats and ecosystems change. This causes danger for the wildlife in the ocean and the faster we control the pollution the better chance we have at saving the ocean.

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  • Florida keys
  • Caribbean Reefs
  • High populated areas near the coast

REGION POLLUTION IS PREVALENT

There are multiple regions in the world where the reefs are being affected by pollution, but the mission was looking at how bad the pollution was affecting the Florida and Bahamas region. These areas are affected due to high populated areas near the coast(NOAA, 2012). The debris and local pollution is causing global warming to affect the reefs. The reefs cannot combat viruses and bacteria because the water temperatures are rising(NOAA, 2012). These diseases thrive in warm waters. The necessity for these local areas to learn about the decline in the reefs will further the cause of trying to save them.

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  • Migration patterns altered
  • Increase in ocean temperature
  • Destruction of habitats, ecosystems, and wildlife

POLLUTION AFFECTING THE ECOSYSTEM

Pollution has already taken its toll on the ecosystems of the reefs. Due to the pollution, temperature in the ocean has begun to rise. This rise in temperature does not just affect the diseases that thrive in warm water, it also affects the wildlife and their habits. The rise in temperature has cause migration patterns to alter. Animals have begun to feel the difference and this is causing there biological clocks to alter(Trujillo, 2015). Birth, hunting, and natural process that ocean life goes through is beginning to be affected by the pollution. Their habitats and ecosystems are beginning to be destroyed, so they must find ways to adapt or they will begin to die as well(Trujillo, 2015). Pollution must be stopped or we will lose more than just the ocean’s ecosystems.

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  • Government regulations
  • Renewable resources
  • Limiting agriculture pesticides
  • Proper sewage treatment

MEASURES TAKEN TO AVOID POLLUTION

Many want to put the spot light on all the pollution that is causing the problems, but no one wants to find the alternatives to avoid the pollution that is plaguing our seas. The best way for people to stop polluting the Earth and seas is to change their every day life styles at home(10 Things you can do to Save the Ocean, 2016). People need to limit their use of nonrenewable resources and begin using more renewable ones. They also need to begin recycling more and discussing the negative affects of pollution to children. The government can begin making more regulations and putting more restrictions on sewage treatment plants and agricultural industries to limit toxins and pesticides that reach the ocean(10 Things you can do to Save the Ocean, 2016). The most important measures are easy, but the hard part is getting more people to be more engaged in saving the oceans.

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  • School education
  • Recycle
  • Donate to organizations helping the ocean
  • Visit local beaches to help the community

AIDING ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS

Small things can lead to big results when trying to help the environmental organizations protect the wildlife of the ocean. School education, donations, and just being involved at local beach communities can make a huge difference when trying to help the environment(Colwell, 2014). The biggest threat to pollution and those polluting the Earth is knowledge that it is going on. If people are educated and the crimes of destroying the ocean comes to light, then movements to bring justice to those doing it will begin(Colwell, 2014). Environmental groups just need a chance to make a difference and they need everyone’s help to get that chance.

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  • Tropical Ocean
  • Transparent Waters
  • Third Largest Coral Reef
  • Thousands of different species of underwater life

GEOLOGICAL FEATURES (FLORIDA REEF)

The coral reef is the Amazon Rain Forest of the ocean. The reef depicted above is known as the Key’s Reef(FDEP, 2012). This reef is found off the coast of Florida in the United States. Reefs are usually found in warm shallow water. The water is usually a constant temperature all year. The constant warm water that reefs need is usually found in tropical oceans. This reef in particular is the third largest reef in the world. It is home to thousands of different ocean wildlife species. The coral reef is one of the most beautiful objects that is created by the Earth(FDEP, 2012).

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  • Thousands of species live in the reef
  • The reef is alive itself
  • Tropical Rainforest of the ocean
  • Sharks
  • Stingrays
  • Sea Turtles
  • Pork fish
  • Tarpon
  • Pufferfish
  • Parrotfish
  • Angelfish
  • Barracuda
  • Grouper

LIFE IN THE REEF

Coral reefs are home to multiple types of species that dwell in the ocean. Also like many other ecosystems, the coral reef is alive itself. The portion of the reef that is alive is called polyp. Polyp is columned shape and it attaches itself to the reef(Tropical Ocean Animals , 2016). When the coral dies, its deteriorates down to the cytoskeleton and then new coral attaches itself. This is the cycle that coral goes through to keep itself safe and healthy. The coral reef is home to other species besides polyp. There are multiple fish species that roam the ecosystem that the coral reef provides. Sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, pork fish, tarpon, puffer fish, parrotfish, angelfish, barracuda, and grouper are just a few species that call the reef home. All these species and the coral itself make coral reefs some of the most wonder places in the world. They are so unique and beautiful to study and look at(Tropical Ocean Animals , 2016).

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LIFE IN THE REEF (CONTINUED)

Pictures of some animals that call the reef home (clip art).

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  • Sharks (Bull)
  • Natural Food source leaving
  • Movement in habitat
  • More interaction with humans
  • Not much interaction with plastic, but cant digest

ADAPTATIONS TO CLIMATE AND POLLUTION

Sharks are some of the top predators that live in the ocean. They are not matched by many other organisms that live there. The pollution that is plaguing the ocean and causing climate changes have had a great affect on this animal. Due to pollution, the sharks have had a hard time adapting(Sharks , 2016)

. The warm waters have caused the natural food source of sharks to change migrating patterns. This has caused sharks to look at other food sources to live. The temperature rising in the ocean has also allowed sharks to venture into new territories that they usually would not go. Sharks have ventured toward shore lines and this has caused interactions with humans. These interactions used to be minimal but now it has raised to an alarming rate. This can all be linked to global climate changes. The sharks are having a hard time adapting to the climate change, but with any other change that has occurred they are sure to adapt to these new challenges. Sharks do not have much interaction with plastic, but if they eat another animals that has plastic on it or inside it, the shark will not be able to digest the material. This will cause the shark to die. The shark will adapt to any changes that occur in the ocean because it has done this time and time again. It is up to humans to quit polluting the seas. They need to leave the smallest footprint they can because if they don’t stop pollution many animals could become extinct(Sharks , 2016).

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  • Apex Predator
  • Top of the food chain
  • Usually in pods with other bull sharks
  • Act as regulators

RELATIONSHIP IN THE FOOD CHAIN

Sharks are known as apex predators. This means that they are no one else’s prey. They are at the top of the food chain and help regulate the food chain of the ecosystem they are in. Sharks are usually found with other sharks of the same species(Sharks , 2016). The bull shark is usually found in pods of other bull sharks. These animals roam the coral reefs in the tropical oceans. Without sharks, the food chain will collapse. Sharks usually eat fish and if the shark is not around the fish population would rise and whip out the primary producers in the area. This would cause the deterioration of that ecosystem. Sharks balance out all the animals in the food chain because they are at the top. All animals are important to their ecosystems. Without each integral part, the ecosystem could not survive(Sharks , 2016).

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  • Change in habitat
  • Migration patterns in the summer
  • New food sources
  • More interactions with humans

FUTURE ADAPTATIONS

With the increase of pollution and climate changes in the oceans, sharks will have to adapt to survive. Sharks usually migrate to cooler waters in the summer for food, but all their migration patterns may have to change in order to adapt to the changes occurring(Sharks , 2016). They need to go to a place where they have an abundance of food. If sharks do not adapt, then we can expect to see more human interactions and problems. Sharks could become aggressive and this will cause retaliation from humans. Sharks have adapted before, so expect them to adapt again(Sharks , 2016).

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  • Currents and tides bring nutrients
  • Sharks tend to follow tides and currents to warm water in the winter and cooler water in the summer
  • Sharks hunt in higher tides

TIDE AND CURRENT INTERACTION

Most animals in the ocean use tides and currents for multiple reasons. Sharks are the same way(Sharks , 2016). Tides and currents bring nutrients with them so sharks use the tides and currents for nutrients. Sharks follow the warm currents during the cool months and the cooler currents in the warmer months. They follow the migration patterns of their food sources. This allows them to flourish and have a sustainable food source year around. The sharks use the tides the same way. Scientists have found that shark attacks on fish and humans occur at a 68% higher rate during high tides than at low tides. Tides and currents are an integral part of the a sharks hunting pattern(Sharks , 2016).

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  • Change in migration patterns
  • Nest site locations
  • Nesting season

SEA TURTLE ADAPTING TO CHANGE

Sea turtles may have a hard time adapting to the climate changes that are occurring so rapidly. It is known that sea turtles are very sensitive to climate change and I do not expect anything different this time around. The species is already in danger so monitoring their numbers will be a high priority. In order to adapt to the quickly changing climates, turtles will probably have to change their migrating patterns, nesting locations, and nesting seasons(Fuentes, 2013). The top priority for turtles is to produce healthy offspring. They may need to change some of their habits, but I do believe they will beat the tests that they are encountering. They have with stood changes before, so they should have no problem doing it again(Fuentes, 2013).

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10 Things you can do to Save the Ocean. (2016). Retrieved January 22, 2016, from National Geographic: http://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/take-action/10-things-you- can-do-to-save-the-ocean/

Colwell, S. (2014). Coral Reefs. Retrieved January 23, 2016, from Coral Reef Alliance : http://coral.org/

Fact Sheet Coral Reefs. (2016). Retrieved January 23, 2016, from Defenders of Wildlife: http://www.defenders.org/coral-reef/basic- facts

FDEP. (2012, May 02). Florida Keys Marine Sactuary . Retrieved February 7, 2016, from Florida Department of Environmental Protection: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/sites/keys/info.htm

Foster, N. (2007, September 20). Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary: Mission Plan. Retrieved January 9, 2016, from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Sanctuaries : http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/missions/2007floridakeys/mission_plan.ht ml

RESOURCES

Fuentes, M. (2013, December). How will Sea Turtles Cope with Climate Change. Retrieved February 6, 2016, from Sea Turtles : http://seaturtlestatus.org/sites/swot/files/report/03311 1_SWOT6_p12-13_Climate%20Change.pdf

NOAA. (2012, July 19). How Pollution Affects Coral Reefs. Retrieved January 22, 2016, from NOAA:http://celebrating200years.noaa.gov/visio ns/coral/side.html

Sharks . (2016). Retrieved February 6, 2016, from Shark Project: http://www.sharkproject.org/en/

Tropical Ocean Animals . (2016). Retrieved February 7, 2016, from Tropical Oceans: http://www.mbgnet.net/salt/coral/indexfr.htm

Trujillo, A. P. (2015). Essentials of Oceanography . Prentice Hall.

All Pictures taken from Clip Art

RESOURCES CONTINUED

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The Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary had a mission in 2007 to study 50 different stations that were set up on the coral reefs of the Bahamas and Florida. The scientists involved were studying the effects of coral bleaching along with certain bacterial diseases that were plaguing the reefs(Foster, 2007). The scientists wanted to understand why the bacteria and bleaching were having such a negative affect on the coral reefs and they also wanted to see if human activities was a direct correlation to the deterioration of the coral. Their findings will be used to help other organization alter the affects that are deteriorating the coral reefs.

*

The coral reef is the most diverse ecosystem in the ocean. Reefs are known as the rainforest of the sea. One fourth of the ocean’s wildlife is associated with coral reefs and the wildlife use the reef for food and habitat necessitates(Fact Sheet Coral Reefs, 2016). That is a remarkable statistic because reefs only make up about two percent of the ocean. The reef itself is a living organism. It feeds off of plankton and other small organisms. There are many reefs all over the world and they can usually be found in tropical or subtropical oceans. Coral reefs are very important to humans as well. Coral reefs are estimated to be worth 30 billion dollars. It is imperative that the help for coral reefs begin because they are a vital part of the world(Fact Sheet Coral Reefs, 2016).

*

The Coral Reef Alliance was founded in 1994 by Stephen Colwell. The Environmental Group is based out of Oakland, California. The group has been advocating and protecting marine wildlife and habitats ever since its opening. Its mission is to unite communities to save coral reefs. This group would be a great advocate for the information from the 2007 mission that the Florida Key Sanctuary conducted(Colwell, 2014). The mission was designed to understand what is plaguing reefs and with this vital information the Coral Reef Alliance can begin advocating and educating multiple people, companies, and industries on how they are affecting the reefs(Colwell, 2014).

*

There are multiple types of pollution that is plaguing the ocean. Most of it is known as second hand pollution because it is not directly put into the ocean, but due to other factors it actually ends up in the ocean. Marine debris is a primary pollutant because it directly put in the ocean. Marine debris can be plastic, littering material, boat parts, or any man made object that comes from the shore and ends up in the ocean(NOAA, 2012). Not all debris is purposely put in the ocean but it does affect habitats, wildlife, and ecosystems. It can kill or harm animals because it is not meant to be in the ocean. The next type of pollutant that affects the ocean is known as secondary pollutant. Agricultural runoffs, sewage, and dumping are not meant to be in the ocean but due to other circumstances this material ends up there. Due to rain, the water cycle, and other factors the pesticides and toxins that are in these pollutants end up in the ocean causing water temperatures to rise, pH balances to changes, and other reactions to occur(NOAA, 2012). This makes habitats and ecosystems change. This causes danger for the wildlife in the ocean and the faster we control the pollution the better chance we have at saving the ocean.

*

There are multiple regions in the world where the reefs are being affected by pollution, but the mission was looking at how bad the pollution was affecting the Florida and Bahamas region. These areas are affected due to high populated areas near the coast(NOAA, 2012). The debris and local pollution is causing global warming to affect the reefs. The reefs cannot combat viruses and bacteria because the water temperatures are rising(NOAA, 2012). These diseases thrive in warm waters. The necessity for these local areas to learn about the decline in the reefs will further the cause of trying to save them.

*

Pollution has already taken its toll on the ecosystems of the reefs. Due to the pollution, temperature in the ocean has begun to rise. This rise in temperature does not just affect the diseases that thrive in warm water, it also affects the wildlife and their habits. The rise in temperature has cause migration patterns to alter. Animals have begun to feel the difference and this is causing there biological clocks to alter(Trujillo, 2015). Birth, hunting, and natural process that ocean life goes through is beginning to be affected by the pollution. Their habitats and ecosystems are beginning to be destroyed, so they must find ways to adapt or they will begin to die as well(Trujillo, 2015). Pollution must be stopped or we will lose more than just the ocean’s ecosystems.

*

Many want to put the spot light on all the pollution that is causing the problems, but no one wants to find the alternatives to avoid the pollution that is plaguing our seas. The best way for people to stop polluting the Earth and seas is to change their every day life styles at home(10 Things you can do to Save the Ocean, 2016). People need to limit their use of nonrenewable resources and begin using more renewable ones. They also need to begin recycling more and discussing the negative affects of pollution to children. The government can begin making more regulations and putting more restrictions on sewage treatment plants and agricultural industries to limit toxins and pesticides that reach the ocean(10 Things you can do to Save the Ocean, 2016). The most important measures are easy, but the hard part is getting more people to be more engaged in saving the oceans.

*

Small things can lead to big results when trying to help the environmental organizations protect the wildlife of the ocean. School education, donations, and just being involved at local beach communities can make a huge difference when trying to help the environment(Colwell, 2014). The biggest threat to pollution and those polluting the Earth is knowledge that it is going on. If people are educated and the crimes of destroying the ocean comes to light, then movements to bring justice to those doing it will begin(Colwell, 2014). Environmental groups just need a chance to make a difference and they need everyone’s help to get that chance.

*

The coral reef is the Amazon Rain Forest of the ocean. The reef depicted above is known as the Key’s Reef(FDEP, 2012). This reef is found off the coast of Florida in the United States. Reefs are usually found in warm shallow water. The water is usually a constant temperature all year. The constant warm water that reefs need is usually found in tropical oceans. This reef in particular is the third largest reef in the world. It is home to thousands of different ocean wildlife species. The coral reef is one of the most beautiful objects that is created by the Earth(FDEP, 2012).

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Coral reefs are home to multiple types of species that dwell in the ocean. Also like many other ecosystems, the coral reef is alive itself. The portion of the reef that is alive is called polyp. Polyp is columned shape and it attaches itself to the reef(Tropical Ocean Animals , 2016). When the coral dies, its deteriorates down to the cytoskeleton and then new coral attaches itself. This is the cycle that coral goes through to keep itself safe and healthy. The coral reef is home to other species besides polyp. There are multiple fish species that roam the ecosystem that the coral reef provides. Sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, pork fish, tarpon, puffer fish, parrotfish, angelfish, barracuda, and grouper are just a few species that call the reef home. All these species and the coral itself make coral reefs some of the most wonder places in the world. They are so unique and beautiful to study and look at(Tropical Ocean Animals , 2016).

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Pictures of some animals that call the reef home (clip art).

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Sharks are some of the top predators that live in the ocean. They are not matched by many other organisms that live there. The pollution that is plaguing the ocean and causing climate changes have had a great affect on this animal. Due to pollution, the sharks have had a hard time adapting(Sharks , 2016)

. The warm waters have caused the natural food source of sharks to change migrating patterns. This has caused sharks to look at other food sources to live. The temperature rising in the ocean has also allowed sharks to venture into new territories that they usually would not go. Sharks have ventured toward shore lines and this has caused interactions with humans. These interactions used to be minimal but now it has raised to an alarming rate. This can all be linked to global climate changes. The sharks are having a hard time adapting to the climate change, but with any other change that has occurred they are sure to adapt to these new challenges. Sharks do not have much interaction with plastic, but if they eat another animals that has plastic on it or inside it, the shark will not be able to digest the material. This will cause the shark to die. The shark will adapt to any changes that occur in the ocean because it has done this time and time again. It is up to humans to quit polluting the seas. They need to leave the smallest footprint they can because if they don’t stop pollution many animals could become extinct(Sharks , 2016).

*

Sharks are known as apex predators. This means that they are no one else’s prey. They are at the top of the food chain and help regulate the food chain of the ecosystem they are in. Sharks are usually found with other sharks of the same species(Sharks , 2016). The bull shark is usually found in pods of other bull sharks. These animals roam the coral reefs in the tropical oceans. Without sharks, the food chain will collapse. Sharks usually eat fish and if the shark is not around the fish population would rise and whip out the primary producers in the area. This would cause the deterioration of that ecosystem. Sharks balance out all the animals in the food chain because they are at the top. All animals are important to their ecosystems. Without each integral part, the ecosystem could not survive(Sharks , 2016).

*

With the increase of pollution and climate changes in the oceans, sharks will have to adapt to survive. Sharks usually migrate to cooler waters in the summer for food, but all their migration patterns may have to change in order to adapt to the changes occurring(Sharks , 2016). They need to go to a place where they have an abundance of food. If sharks do not adapt, then we can expect to see more human interactions and problems. Sharks could become aggressive and this will cause retaliation from humans. Sharks have adapted before, so expect them to adapt again(Sharks , 2016).

*

Most animals in the ocean use tides and currents for multiple reasons. Sharks are the same way(Sharks , 2016). Tides and currents bring nutrients with them so sharks use the tides and currents for nutrients. Sharks follow the warm currents during the cool months and the cooler currents in the warmer months. They follow the migration patterns of their food sources. This allows them to flourish and have a sustainable food source year around. The sharks use the tides the same way. Scientists have found that shark attacks on fish and humans occur at a 68% higher rate during high tides than at low tides. Tides and currents are an integral part of the a sharks hunting pattern(Sharks , 2016).

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Sea turtles may have a hard time adapting to the climate changes that are occurring so rapidly. It is known that sea turtles are very sensitive to climate change and I do not expect anything different this time around. The species is already in danger so monitoring their numbers will be a high priority. In order to adapt to the quickly changing climates, turtles will probably have to change their migrating patterns, nesting locations, and nesting seasons(Fuentes, 2013). The top priority for turtles is to produce healthy offspring. They may need to change some of their habits, but I do believe they will beat the tests that they are encountering. They have with stood changes before, so they should have no problem doing it again(Fuentes, 2013).

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